Now Playing: "Oh Death" by Charlie Patton, King of the Delta Blues
Over at Steve Soto's place, a man named Charlie Kelly provided me a link to a webpage featuring his honorable discharge from the United States Army, circa 1972. This link was attached to an invitation to kiss his tattooed ass, which, of course, must be declined in these days of the hepatitis. But I did write him the following:
I thank you for serving our country, Charlie.
But your idea that no one who hasn't served can make a moral case for war is wrong. I advocate interplanetary space exploration, even though I will never take the risks that astronauts do. I advocate unfettered stem cell research, even though I do not have the knowledge or skills to perform it. I can say that a musician sucks, even though I don't play an instrument. I support a woman's reproductive rights, even though I can never exercise them myself.
This is a civil society. One that you defended as a young man and, I am sure, still defend today. But it is for that reason that we do not bar the opinions or resist the actions of those we disagree with or whom we are demonstrably better experienced than.
The only demand that may be placed upon me as I advocate this War for Iraq is that I be knowledgeable about and sensitive to what is being done in my behalf. I believe I meet that standard and I do not take lightly what is required of those who fight for us.